Among the hullabaloo for Halloween, a remake was announced on October 29, 2023, for hidden Nintendo DS gems, Retro Game Challenge (2007), and its 2009 sequel. Not only does it come with both games, but it will also incorporate multiplayer for certain games. Under the name Retro Game Challenge 1 + 2 REPLAY, the remake will make its way to Nintendo Switch on February 22, 2024… just not outside of Japan.
Blastin’ to the Past
Retro Game Challenge saw players being sent back in time by Shinya Arino (host of Japanese television show Game Center CX) and forced to play fictitious retro games clearly inspired by various Famicom classics. The game was brought to the West in 2009 thanks to XSEED Games. But sales were severely underwhelming. As a result, Retro Game Challenge 2 was never brought to the West. A third game was made for the Nintendo 3DS in 2014. However, it too never left Japan.
The reason this news both excites and disappoints is because of how the series has captured bygone eras of gaming. And I’m not just talking about the games featured like Robot Ninja Haggleman, Rally King, and Guadia Quest.
Retro Game Challenge invited the player to experience games the only way folks knew how back in the 80s: through word of mouth and magazine subscriptions. As the older and more villainous Arino would impose more challenges, your ally – a younger Arino – would buy magazines for you to read up on tips and cheats for whatever game you had to play. Talking to him could also lead to new discoveries…or ridiculous rumors he heard on the playground.
Are You Up to the Challenge?
I am actually working on the longplay for this game for LongplayArchive. To this day, I believe Retro Game Challenge was widely slept on. Granted, XSEED Games was not as big back in 2009 as it is today. Nevertheless, I do believe just a spot on Nintendo’s YouTube channel could spark interest in this. Of course, that’s just one reporter’s humble opinion.
No word has been given if this remake of the first two games will ever be brought to the West. But with the surge in popularity of Japanese games have been seeing thanks to Nintendo, Capcom, and Bandai Namco, perhaps folks will take notice this time around? For now, some of us might have to hold out for eBay listings or if playasia will be selling copies.
Good thing the Switch isn’t region-locked!